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P E O P L E

M U S I C

H E A LT H

JUNE | JULY 2017

A R T

F O O D

T R A V E L


Fully renovated on a double corner lot with oak trees!

• $369,000 (2,396 sq.ft.) • 3 bedrooms w/ en suite bathrooms • Granite in kitchen, baths and laundry room


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WORTH A DRIVE BAYOU LACOMBE

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PEOPLE

SLIDELL SODA SHOP

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FRIENDSHIP MIGHTY MICHAEL

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A HEALTHY YOU SKIN CARE

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SWEET SUMMER WATERMELON

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BEAUTY TREND SUMMER MAKE UP

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GIVING HOPE FOSTER KIDS

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OUTDOORS GATOR MAN

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ART OF INK

TATTOOS

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CUTTING EDGE OF FASHION HAUTE OFF THE RACK

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SPORTSMAN’S EDGE

FLY FISHING

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GIFT GUIDE

FATHER’S DAY

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RESTAURANT REVIEW MY TURN BY: GAVIN JOBE AND VINNIE LEDONNE

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FIND YOUR BLISS RETREAT

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GETAWAY REDWOOD PARKS

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AROUND THE LAKE SOCIAL

Feather tattoo Art of Ink page 042 Photo Jerry Cottrell


We enjoy receiving awards and recognition from our peers, but the joy we get from seeing positive outcomes for patients is our true reward. We achieve those positive results thanks to the dedication of our nurses. On their behalf, we’re proud to announce that STPH is one of only three hospitals in the state to achieve the Pathway to Excellence® from the American Nurses Credentialing Center. We’re also excited to have received our third consecutive Women’s Choice Award for Heart Care & Obstetrics.

OUR NURSES ARE TRUE CHAMPIONS.

A member of

Health Network

#Rewards Vs Awards | (985) 898-4000 | stph.org


During the last few weeks our editorial team has travelled all over the Northshore, from hanging out with the gators at Kliebert’s in Hammond, sampling ice cream at the Old Town Soda Shop in Slidell, to visiting a watermelon patch in Franklinton. We pride ourselves on the editorial integrity of our features; none of them are paid for. A simple mission statement allows us to bring you stories from around the parishes that are relevant, diverse and invoke conversation. The response to our features has been phenomenal. Please send your comments, story ideas and pictures of things happening around the community to edgepublisher@yahoo.com. We are excited to welcome Caitlin Picou as our new Beauty Editor. As the founder of Kismet Cosmetics, she is on the cutting edge of beauty trends and will share these with our readers. In addition, EDGE of the Lake will be sharing Caitlin’s how-to video on our website at edgeofthelake.com. John N. Felsher is also joining our editorial team. John is a Slidell native who grew up hunting and fishing all over South Louisiana. Look for stories from him in the upcoming months. Enjoy the issue, PUBLISHER

PUBLISHER Sarah Cottrell EDITOR Annie Wilkes ART DIRECTOR Fernanda Chagas Kirk STYLE DIRECTOR Patty Beal BEAUTY EDITOR Caitlin Picou CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Kim Bergeron Sarada Bonnett G. Brent Brown Dr. Kelly Burkenstock Sarah Cottrell John N. Felsher Leonard Gray Ashley Rodrique Elizabeth Kennedy Wells STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Jerry Cottrell CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Yehleen Bacalso-Gaffney Tom Ballantine John N. Felsher G. Brent Brown SENIOR SALES EXECUTIVES Eloise Cottrell Rick Clasen ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Rebecca Blossman-Ferran Erin Bolton D’Ann Davis Michelle Wallis-Croas

ON THE COVER Old Town Slidell Soda Shop Photo Jerry Cottrell

The entire contents of this magazine are copyrighted by EDGE Publishing. @ 2017 with all rights reserved. Reproduction or use without permission of editorial or graphic content in any manner is prohibited. Please email comments or story ideas to edgepublisher@yahoo.com. EDGE PUBLISHING • 69170 HWY 190. SUITE 1 COVINGTON, LA 70433 • 985.875.9691


GREAT COVERAGE FOCUSED ON THE NORTHSHORE

AND NOW BRINGING YOU

For a personalized marketing plan from advertising professionals focused on the Northshore visit either website: edgeofthelake.com

lake947.net


STORY ELIZABETH KENNEDY WELLS PHOTOS G. BRENT BROWN

A tangible benefit of living north of Lake Pontchartrain is the abundance of outdoor activities. At Bayou Adventure, in the heart of Lacombe, Jeff and Shannon Bordelon make it easy to take advantage of the beauty and bounty of our local bayous. It all started a little over five years ago when Shannon and her daughter were on a bike ride. Shannon thought it would be a good idea if there were bike rentals in Lacombe near the Tammany Trace and thought, “Somebody ought to do that.” She also wanted people in the area to appreciate the beauty of our bayous so that they would understand the need to protect and preserve them. She knew that if she could get people out on the bayous they would understand. Shannon’s plan came together one Sunday when she saw an ad in the paper: “Bait Shop for Sale in Lacombe — call Lloyd.” It was

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LAT 30° 31’ 21” N, LONG -89° 93’ 76” W

on a simple handshake with ‘Lloyd’ that Shannon bought the bait shop, named it Bayou Adventure, and on the same day opened the doors to her new business. Now, a little over five years later, Bayou Adventure is a thriving business in the heart of Lacombe offering bike rentals, kayaking tours — guided and unguided, fishing rods and tackle — day rentals and for sale, live bait, and always a smile and good conversation. Jeff and Shannon knew each other as children, and reconnected several years ago. Jeff was working as a project manager for a large industrial construction company and Shannon’s business was growing at a quick pace. Jeff says he “decided to take a big risk and quit my job so that we could do it together.” The risk seems to have paid off in spades. Shannon and Jeff are now married and welcomed a daughter earlier this year.


LETTER FROM THE PARISH PRESIDENT

KAYAKING: Kayaking is most people’s favorite way to relax and spend time with friends and family — they just don’t know it yet. Shannon says that “Kayaking is not strenuous, so it’s a good sport for people of all ages and abilities.” So far their oldest kayaker has been an octogenarian. For the younger crowd, it is not so much the age, but, instead, whether a child can sit still and paddle on their own for the length of the tour. Bayou Adventure offers self-guided eco tours and guided sunrise and sunset tours — all in the comfort of your own kayak. For a self-guided tour, there are several bayous in the area to choose from. Bayou Adventure provides a map and advice about where to go depending on what the customers want to see. A drop off at Bayou Lacombe is always complimentary, and a drop off at other local bayous is available for a small fee. If you have another place in mind, you can load your kayak into the back of a pickup and head off to other scenic areas. Their guided tour is “a very raw Louisiana paddle,” Jeff explains. On the 1+ mile paddle on Cane Bayou to Lake Pontchartrain, there are “only two structures” and “three changing ecosystems.” The tour starts in a pine forest, passes through a cypress swamp and ends in a salt marsh. The sunset tour is a favorite of locals and their out of town guests. Watching the sunset from a kayak in Lake Pontchartrain is simply mesmerizing , and the paddle back on the bayou is a rare opportunity to hear the sounds of frogs and crickets and blue herons all singing back and forth to each other.

PROGRESS REPORT Your Parish Government works every day to address the needs of our growing community through the responsible use of tax dollars to maintain and reinforce our infrastructure. Future plans for infrastructure initiatives include the implementation of a major streets plan, which will take a focused, systematic approach to making Capital Road Improvements. This is a visionary plan that includes improvements of existing roadways, coordination with other agencies on collaborative projects, and the design and creation of future roads to ultimately increase travel efficiency. Earlier this year, we launched our interactive Progress web page located at stpgov.org. Designed to inform residents about infrastructure initiatives, this page includes projects currently underway, the location of these projects, and the progression in real time. There are currently approximately 40 road projects and approximately 30 drainage/ hydrology projects in process now. This map is regularly updated as these initiatives begin, progress, and are completed. The Department of Public Works is responsible for all road and drainage maintenance activities within the unincorporated areas of the Parish. This includes the maintenance of 4,348 roads (1,548 miles), 1,208 lateral ditches, 64 retention ponds, and 144 bridges. In 2016, $16.5 million in funding dedicated to roads and drainage was budgeted for capital improvements to infrastructure throughout St. Tammany Parish. The Parish’s Operating and Capital Budgets are always available for review at stpgov.org/ departments/finance. We encourage every resident of St. Tammany to become engaged in how your government works and to review public documents which break down how your tax dollars are spent. PAT BRISTER St. Tammany Parish President


Another rare opportunity on this nighttime paddle is a view of “amphibious glitter,” as Jeff calls it. The kayakers’ headlamps spread light and it reflects off of the eyes of frogs, turtles, spiders, and sometimes alligators. “It looks like someone sprinkled glitter along the water’s edge.” Jeff explains that since Cane Bayou is too small for tour boats, these alligators have not been fed by people, and therefore, are not interested in them. FISHING AND CRABBING: While a favorite of the locals for live bait and a morning cup of coffee, Bayou Adventure also caters to novices. Everything you need for a day of fishing or crabbing is available to rent, and every rental comes with a lesson — if needed — and suggestions on places to fish or crab from the banks. Shannon recommends crabbing as a good summer activity for younger kids because it is fast-paced and keeps their attention. “You have 3-6 strings out at one time. By the time you throw the last one, its time to go back to the first line to scoop up the crabs.” Shannon says that during the summer “you can get a crab dinner for two in about 20-30 minutes.” Bayou Adventure will also set you up to fish from a kayak. They provide the kayak, paddle, life vest, rod & reel and all of the fishing accoutrements, including a map. BIKES: Bayou Adventure is ½ block from the Trace. If you don’t have enough bikes for everyone, or just don’t want to schlep them, rentals are available spring to fall. Pick up a drink and a snack at Bayou Adventure when you rent your bike, since these Beach Cruisers come with a basket and a cup holder. R/C CARS, BOATS AND DRONES: Bayou Adventure also caters to the radio-controlled car, boat and drone enthusiast. They sell vehicles — including TRAXXIS — and parts, and can also service them. Opening this summer at Bayou Adventure is a carpeted indoor track

BAYOU ADVENTURE 28178 Hwy 190, Lacombe 985.882.9208

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for radio-control enthusiasts. It will be available for birthday parties and to rent by the hour for walk-ins. The track and the challenges will continually change, so it will be a new adventure every time. AND MORE: Jeff and Shannon have a flexible business plan when it comes to growing Bayou Adventure: They have a hard time telling people ‘no.’ Recently, Shannon got a call from a Habitat for Humanity group coming in from out of town. They wanted to know if Bayou Adventure could put together a group dinner with local fare. When Shannon told Jeff what was on the schedule for the weekend, he asked, “We do that?” and Shannon replied, “Yes, we do that!” And do that they did. Bayou Adventure took the group crabbing and then taught them how to boil the crabs. Jeff also made a pot of gumbo and they served boudin. A good time was passed by all! Bayou Adventure is easy to find. Not only is it brightly painted, it sits in the middle of Lacombe at the curve on Hwy. 190. They sell Good Humor ice cream, cookbooks, children’s books, and will soon start working on the addition of a cafe. It’s all part of a laid-back, flexible plan with roots in making people happy. On a recent Saturday morning, a steady stream of customers made their way into the store and left with what they needed. For some, it was just a cup of coffee on their way out for another day of fishing, and for others it was fishing supplies or kayaking tours. For one family, it was a 20 minute lesson in crabbing and a rental of the equipment they needed. One local fisherman came in with a small ice chest full of brim. He had caught close to the limit and just wanted to share his good news. Through Bayou Adventure, Jeff and Shannon have created a gift to the Northshore community. A gift very well received!


277 Lee Lane Convington, LA 70433

(985) 807-2120 www.bellacucinadesign.com


STORY KIM BERGERON PHOTOS JERRY COTTRELL

While a handful of innovators have staked their claims as creators of the first ice cream soda, the most widely credited is Philadelphia soda shop operator Robert Green. Accounts of the beverage’s origins vary. Some legends would have us believe that it was a happy accident when, in 1874, Green was making flavored sodas and ran out of ice, substituting ice cream to chill the beverage; other stories indicate that the unusual combination was the result of extensive experimentation, the entrepreneur’s effort to best his local competition. Regardless of the means, the resulting drink became an instant sensation, and his soda shop’s sales skyrocketed.


Ponytails and poodle skirts, ducktail haircuts and leather jackets, jukeboxes framed in neon lights, and carhops gliding on roller skates. These are the images most likely to come to mind when one hears the words “soda shop.” What became a popular hangout for teens in the 1940s and 50s actually got its start some 75 years prior, with the birth of the ice cream soda. In the 140 years since then, the ice cream soda has evolved into an endless array of options, combining virtually any ice cream or sherbet flavor with root beer, cola, 7UP, nectar and more — topped with whipped cream and a cherry, of course. Whether shared by young teens on a date, families after Sunday mass, or friends who are just hanging out, ice cream sodas bring people together to celebrate life. “That’s why we created Old Town Slidell Soda Shop,” says proprietor Frank Jackson. “My wife, Carla, and I wanted a place where we could work with our pre-teen daughters, Christy and Lori. I thought this would be a novel, fun, family kind of place. And what kid wouldn’t like the idea of owning an ice cream shop?” He smiled. So, in 1988, the family opened the business in an historic building on the corner of Cousin and First streets in Slidell’s Olde Towne district. On the first floor of the building are large storefront windows, one of which showcases an old fashioned, five-gallon ice cream maker — the kind that’s packed with ice and rock salt and powered by elbow grease. It was, once upon a time, the centerpiece of a weekly ritual, back when homemade ice cream was available only on Sundays. Since that time, every day is homemade ice cream day, with the formerly commercial selections replaced with housemade choices. A trip to the soda shop is like a step back in time. Black and white checkered floors pave the way to the ice cream showcase at the back wall. Hanging on the wall to the left is an elaborate

display of ice cream scoops, along with a sign offering a $10 gift certificate to anyone who brings in a unique design not yet featured in the collection. To the right, a high countertop is lined with shiny aluminum stools with bright teal seats, and at the end of the counter is a glass front candy case featuring a nostalgic variety of sweets. Behind the counters stand smiling soda jerks crowned with signature paper hats, ready to serve up tasty fare including hot dogs and chili, sandwiches and desserts. The ice cream case features the shop’s signature selections, a rotating array from over 300 flavors. In addition to traditional offerings — some with a local twist, like Pontchatoula Strawberry — there are more unique choices, including Creole Cream Cheese, Bananas Foster, Cantaloupe, Jalapeno Cream Cheese and a brightly colored “Play Doh” flavor, a kids’ favorite. An adjacent wing includes a row of booths topped with corrugated, frosted glass framed in wooden arches. Their baby blue tables are encircled in brushed aluminum, and on the wall within each booth are miniature jukeboxes, all of which control the full size, neon lit jukebox nearby. A game room with numerous old fashioned and newfangled choices rounds out the first floor. Upstairs is a room used for everything from parties to business meetings. Behind the building sits a 1947 Ford fire engine, a gem that Frank spotted — and subsequently purchased — while on a trip to Pine Mountain, Georgia. The bright red vehicle has since become synonymous with the soda shop, and it can be seen driving kids throughout Olde Towne for birthday parties, at local car and truck shows and at the Lion Club’s annual “Touch a Truck” event. It’s yet another element in a multifaceted business designed to create pure joy. Summertime brings Soda Jerk Summer Camp, a week long adventure offering a bit of the history of ice cream and hands on experience making and serving up a variety of dishes, including homemade ice cream.


SLIDELL SODA SHOP 301 Cousin Street, Slidell 985.649.4806 slidellsodashop.com

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The unique program caught the attention of The Food Network’s “Unwrapped” host, Mark Summers. “The first time they called, I was in the middle of working with the kids and I thought it was a joke,” said Frank. “So I hung up on them.” But Summers managed to convince Frank that the inquiry was legit, and the show taped a segment shortly thereafter. During that production, the TV show host spotted the ice cream scoop selection, which led to another taping for an additional episode. Then came Hurricane Katrina. The 2005 storm flooded the soda shop, significantly damaging the building and destroying much of its equipment. Though at the time Frank and his family were living on the second floor and he did not evacuate, in the days following, he made the move to higher and dryer ground. Prior to leaving, he spray painted on one of the exterior walls a wavy red line with a sailboat atop and a fish beneath, some five feet or so above ground. While visitors to the area may assume the markings are graffiti, Slidellians know otherwise: the artwork indicates the level to which the water rose during Katrina, devastating the iconic shop. For the next seven years, the building remained untouched. “Part of me wanted to just walk away,” said Frank, lowering his head as he spoke. “But I couldn’t go anywhere without someone asking when we were going to reopen.” Among the more persistent of these was Morris Hawkins, Chief Executive Officer of Addictions Counseling and Educational Resources (ACER,) who leases the adjacent building from Frank. Morris originally wanted to explore the possibilities of utilizing the soda shop as a workforce re-entry program for his clients. Frank resisted, saying he was not up to the task of seeking financing for the rebuild or navigating the process of securing necessary permits. Morris offered to take care of those details


LETTER FROM THE MAYOR

DEAR CITIZENS,

if Frank would continue to run the operations. And so, on August 1, 2012, the newfound partners reopened the Old Town Slidell Soda Shop for the first time since Katrina. Then, just 28 days later, Hurricane Isaac hit, seven years to the day after Katrina. The shop flooded again, though not nearly as badly as before. After a few weeks of cleanup, it was back in business. And the community rejoiced. Frank made the decision to leave the spray painted post-Katrina artwork on the building’s side, considering it a testimony to the city’s resilience — and his own. He has since added a layer of varnish to ensure that this chapter in the business’ legacy is preserved for years to come. Since its opening nearly 30 years ago, the Old Town Slidell Soda Shop has hosted over 3,000 birthday parties, some of which have been second generations of families continuing the tradition. The shop also serves as a workforce “boot camp” for high school students, who learn every aspect of the business, from administrative skills to customer service, the importance of portioning, cost control, inventory, cleanup and more. “We have about a dozen employees now, and nothing is compartmentalized,” he said. “They have learned really quickly that this is hard work. But if they have good work ethics, high moral values, accountability and a desire to learn, they develop invaluable skills that will carry over into their future careers.” What the proprietor enjoys most is seeing parents and grandparents bringing their children to experience the magic of the soda shop, just as their parents had done for them. “We have a grandfather who comes in several times a week with his granddaughter after he picks her up from school,” he smiled. “It’s a wonderful reminder that we don’t just sell ice cream. We sell memories.” For the generations past, and those still to come, there’s no better place to make those memories. One sweet scoop at a time.

Another hurricane season is approaching, and I encourage everyone to start making preparations now. One of the most important things you can do is stay informed. As in years past, we will post all emergency information to our city website, Facebook and Twitter accounts. One of the easiest ways to stay updated is by signing up for email notifications on our website, myslidell.com. It’s as easy as entering your email address at the top of the page under “Stay in the know! Join our email list!” and clicking subscribe. Information is also posted on the “City of Slidell, Louisiana” Facebook page. Make sure to click the “like” button so that updates can appear on your Facebook news feed. Twitter enables subscribers to receive instant updates via text messages or email on their cell phones anytime an update is posted. You can follow @cityofslidell for City information and @slidellSOS for emergency news. Visit Enabling Mobile Notifications under the Twitter Help Center for more information. All of these services can be accessed from virtually anywhere, whether it’s a cell phone, laptop or tablet. Even if you evacuate, you can still get continuous updates about Slidell. I encourage you to take advantage of these useful capabilities. FREDDY DRENNAN City of Slidell Mayor


Dr.Christine McDonald has 21 years of experience treating cats, dogs, ferrets, rodents, rabbits and reptiles. LSU Class of 1995! Madisonville Animal Hospital since 2003 – it is the oldest and largest clinic in Madisonville. Madisonville Animal Hospital is proud to feature Companion Animal Therapeutic Laser Therapy – a drug free way to treat injuries, wounds and arthritis for those older pets that have slowed down. Doggy Day Care and boarding – with a large exercise yard, experienced kennel help, doctor supervised and reasonable rates! Gentle and Professional Pet Grooming – for all breeds of dogs and cats. Competitive prices on heartworm and flea preventatives.

10% Off for all NEW grooming clients 985 845 4681 1956 Hwy 22 W., Madisonville www.madisonvilleanimalhospital.com

Slidell MOVIE NIGHTS Heritage Park • 8:30 PM • Free Admission MySlidell.com • (985) 646-4375

Action! Comedy! Drama! Music! Slidell Movie Nights has it all!

Join us on Saturday evenings this summer on JUNE 3, JUNE 17, JULY 8 and JULY 22 at 8:30 PM for family movie nights in Slidell’s Heritage Park. Concessions will be available for a nominal charge. Licensing restrictions prevent us from advertising the titles of the movies, but you can visit MYSLIDELL.COM or SLIDELL MOVIE NIGHTS on Facebook to see the list of movies.

This Slidell Main Street and Louisiana Cultural District event is supported by the City of Slidell’s 2016-2017 Cultural Season Sponsors and by a grant from the Louisiana Division of the Arts as administered by the St. Tammany Commission on Cultural Affairs.

1357 N. CAUSEWAY BLVD, SUITE 1 | MANDEVILLE, LA 70471

Bryan Chamberlain B R A N C H M A N AG E R | N M L S # : 1 1 4 5 8 6

direct: 504.228.3780 bryan.chamberlain@movement.com | movement.com/bryan.chamberlain www.movement .com BRYAN CHAMBERLAIN: Loan Officer | LA, TX | 1357 N. Causeway Blvd, Suite 1, Mandeville, LA 70471 | Movement Mortgage, LLC supports Equal Housing Opportunity. NMLS ID #39179 (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org) | 877-314-1499. Movement Mortgage, LLC is licensed by AL # 21022, AK # AK39179, AZ # 0918544, AR # 105002, “CA Department of Business Oversight under the California Residential Mortgage Lending Act” # 4131054, “CO Regulated by Division of Real Estate”, CT # ML-39179, DE # 012644, DC # MLB39179, FL # MLD200 & MLD1360, GA # 23002, ID # MBL-8027 & RRL-9397, “Illinois Residential Mortgage Licensee” # MB.6760898, IN # 18121, IA # 2013-0023 & 88883410, “Kansas Licensed Mortgage Company” # SL.0026458, KY # MC85066, LA, ME # 39179, MD # 19094, MA Banker & Lender # MC39179, MI # FR0018717 & SR0020189, MN # MN-MO-39179, “Mississippi Dept of Banking and Consumer Finance” # 39179, MO # 16-2096, NE, NV # 3402 & 3401, Licensed by the New Hampshire Banking Department 20985-MB, “Licensed by the N.J. Department of Banking and Insurance”, NM, “Licensed Mortgage Banker-NYS Banking Dept” #B500997, NC # L-142670, ND # MB102519, OH # SM.501922.000 & MB.804187.000, OK # ML002646, OR # ML-5081, PA # 34374, Rhode Island Licensed Lender, Broker and Servicer 20153194LL & 20153195LB & 20153196LS, SC # MLS-39179, SD # ML.05007, TN # 112748, TX, UT # 7773921, VT # 6862 & 39179-1, VA # MC-5112, WA # CL-39179, WV # MB-32019 & ML-32020, WI # 39179BA & 39179BR. Interest rates and products are subject to change without notice and may or may not be available at the time of loan commitment or lock-in. Borrowers must qualify at closing for all benefits. “Movement Mortgage” is a registered trademark of the Movement Mortgage, LLC, a Delaware limited liability company. 8024 Calvin Hall Rd, Indian Land, SC 29707. | PID 4395-B | Exp. 11/2017


STORY ASHLEY RODRIGUE PHOTOS JERRY COTTRELL

It’s 4:30 on a Saturday afternoon. Eight teenage boys are sitting in tuxedos, ready to take their dates to St. Paul’s Junior Prom later that evening. Among the banter and light-hearted jokes over each other’s suit accessories, one teen asks, “Yea, what are we doing after?” Another answers, “We’ve got like 10 minutes to plan something. I don’t know.” This may seem like a typical teenage boy reaction, but last-minute adjusting has truly become the norm for this longtime group of friends, especially when it comes to including 17-year-old Michael Doherty. “Everything we’ve run into, we kind of made a solution on the spot,” said Jacob Hornbeck. “Like an example is, ‘How are we going to get him on the beach,’” recalled Cameron Vidal, about the group’s recent Spring Break trip to Destin, “And, like, we just buried him on the beach.” “But one thing is, I’m not letting him carry me ever again because he dropped me,” said Doherty, setting off a round of laughter among the teens. In addition to Doherty, Vidal and Hornbeck, the group consists of Gabe Ingram, Zach Bodenheimer, Jonathan Benit, Nico Walters and Rhett Schwing. While some have known Doherty since elementary school, others became friends through recreational sports, but all of them have gotten close as part of St. Paul’s Class of 2018. And all were present, in some capacity, the night of November 11, 2016, when Doherty’s life would change forever. It was the 2nd quarter of St. Paul’s first-round playoff football game. Doherty, a defensive back, says he remembers “sandwiching a dude” from Archbishop Shaw with one of his teammates. He says the last person he saw when falling back from that hit was Bodenheimer. Bodenheimer recalled, “The play was over and I saw him on the ground. I wasn’t really thinking much, just, ‘Come on get up.’ I went

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to grab him and I just see his arms. He couldn’t do anything. And he’s saying ‘I can’t feel my body.’” Meanwhile, Vidal, Hornbeck and Ingram watched from the sidelines. “At first, I thought it was a typical injury, just a hard hit,” said Hornbeck, “But when he didn’t get up after two or three minutes, I thought alright something actually happened.” “My friend and I, we both said a decade’s worth of rosary as soon as that happened,” said Vidal, “I knew that something was really wrong when I saw them take the gurney, running with the gurney.” Doherty would have emergency surgery to repair a broken C5 vertebrae, but would remain unable to move much below his chest, though he says he can feel deep pressure in his legs. Soon after the surgery, Doherty transferred to the Shepherd Center in Atlanta to gain back as much movement as possible, and to learn how to live life without the rest. He returned to school in a wheelchair in March. The group of friends’ dedication to Doherty was immediate back then, including several trips to Atlanta, complete with personal sushi deliveries and tours around the city. “In my mind, all I could think about was him in a bed. Just like having a bunch of nurses around him,” said Vidal, “I’m like he’s probably dying in there right now and the only thing he wants to do is talk to his friends.” “I couldn’t really imagine what it’d be like to do it by yourself,” said Hornbeck, “It’s better to do it with a team.” “We’ve all been together for a long time. We’re just so close, we just pull together,” said Schwing. Ingram noted their mindset being much like the school’s motto: “The strength of the wolf is the pack.” That pack mentality hasn’t wavered. “In ICU they came and brought me whatever I needed. And it’s the same ever since I got back, everywhere I go, putting me in the car, bringing me

“We’ve all been together for a long time. We’re just so close, we just pull together.”

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everywhere, taking my wheelchair apart, doing different stuff like that. Getting me where I need to go to be with them,” said Doherty, “I couldn’t do it without them. Just being there the whole time.” But the situation hasn’t been easy. While most of the group has a lot to say about how Michael’s accident has impacted their lives personally, one or two say a lot without saying a thing. In fact, they all admit having found themselves in tears at some point or another. “Everybody was just like, ‘How could this happen to our friend?’ It’s something that nobody has ever had happen to any of their friends,” said Benit. “I think a lot of us didn’t even know, more like a shock, that we didn’t even know what to do. This was the last thing we thought,” said Vidal, “Like, I mean, one minute we’re playing football and then next, one of our friends is in the hospital and then he’s paralyzed. It was just a shock to all of us. We really didn’t know what to do. The only thing we could do was be there for him.” Their faith has kept them all steadfast in their commitment to each other and hopeful for Doherty’s future. The group has taken part in a special prayer service with Archbishop Gregory Aymond at the National Shrine of Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos in New Orleans. They’re optimistic the intercession of Father Seelos will result in Michael walking again, and give the Catholic Church another miracle to log in the beatification process for Father Seelos to become a saint.

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In the meantime, the group does what it has to in order to make sure Doherty gets the same high school experience they’re getting. On this night, that includes physically lifting Doherty, in his chair, up and down small sets of stairs, as the group of teens moves around a prom pre-party being held for them at one of the boys’ homes. Up next, the boys say their visits to Atlanta will continue when Doherty returns there this summer for intensive rehab therapy. And despite college lingering a year away, the majority all have sights set on LSU, so they believe the status quo will continue in Baton Rouge. “Keep doing the same thing,” said Bodenheimer, “Stay with him and stay friends.” That devotion gives Doherty an outlet to be honest about his progress and struggles without feeling like he’s being a burden or pitied. “They actually care, and it’s just good to have friends that will do anything for you,” said Doherty. “And I think he’d do anything for us just like we’d do anything for him,” said Benit. That bond is seen every day at the school and by the boys’ families, but it’s even being noticed by strangers. In a recent Facebook post, a woman described observing Michael at a restaurant with three of these friends. She said their instinctive actions toward Michael, helping him clean up spills, put on the necessary equipment to eat and ultimately feeding Michael when it was clear the task was too much of a challenge, brought her to tears. Her post ended with a request to the boys to thank their parents for “raising you to believe in friendships that last a lifetime regardless of the circumstances.”


Photos courtesy of Michael Doherty

ASHLEY RODRIGUE is the Northshore Bureau Chief for WWL-TV, Channel 4. WWL is the only local TV station with a Northshore Bureau, dedicated to the coverage of news in St. Tammany, Washington and Tangipahoa Parishes, with occasional coverage of the Mississippi Gulf Coast. WWL’s Northshore Bureau has been covering government, school, crime and community news for the New Orleans metro-area since 1996. The bureau was started by Mike Ross, and Doug Mouton took over in 2006. Ashley became bureau chief in 2012. Ashley hails from the Westbank of New Orleans and is a graduate of LSU. She was inspired to get into TV news after an encounter with Bill Capo at her school in 1992. Her onair career began at KFDM in Beaumont, Texas in 2006. Her next stop was closer to home at WBRZ in Baton Rouge, the same station where she started her television career as the recipient of the annual Manship School of Mass Communication apprenticeship after she graduated from LSU. Ashley’s dream of reporting for WWL, the station she watched growing up, came in 2012. She lives in the Mandeville -area with her husband, who is a pro-golfer, and their pug Tater Tot. Covering such a widespread area is no easy task, and Ashley, on behalf of WWL, encourages viewers to share tips about notable happenings in their communities to assist in continuing the most comprehensive coverage of local Northshore news in the area. You can reach the bureau by phone at 985.626.4434 or by emailing eyewitness@wwltv. com. You can also contact Ashley directly by emailing rodrigue@wwltv.com.

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The City of

COVINGTON JUNE & JULY 2017 EVENTS

Tour de Louisiane Bike Race Sunday, June 11 • 7 am to 1 pm • Covington Trailhead

Sunset at the Landing Concert Fridays, June 16 & July 21 • 6 pm to 9 pm Columbia Street Landing

Sparks in the Park Friday, June 30 • 6 pm • Bogue Falaya Park

Coffee with Mayor Cooper Wednesday, July 26 • 9 am to 10 am • Covington Trailhead

Columbia Street Block Party Friday, July 28 • 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm Historic Downtown Covington

Farmers Markets Every Wednesday • 10 am to 2 pm • 419 N. New Hampshire Every Saturday • 8 am to Noon • 600 Block of N. Columbia

www.covla.com | gottaluvcov@covla.com | 985.892.1873


L UXURY A PARTMENT H OMES

Fitness Center, Pool, Full-Size Washer & Dryer, Granite, 24 hr. Emergency Maintenance, Clubhouse and Pet Friendly

Covington hit the mark again with this beautiful, gated community. Situated amongst scenic forested trails offering spacious one, two and three bedroom living. Reagan Crossing, while nestled within the serene quiet of nature, is close to all that St. Tammany has to offer as well as Covington’s Historic Downtown District

985.273.6262


STORY DR. KELLY BURKENSTOCK

Our beautiful Southern Louisiana sunshine is here, and it is great for exercise and boosting our moods. The psychological and physical benefits can’t be underestimated. But let’s protect that beautiful skin because one in five adults will get skin cancer during their lifetime. Not all sunscreens are alike. The effective sunscreens contain titanium dioxide and/or zinc oxide which provide equal protection across the full range of ultraviolet B (UVB) and A (UVA) light. Protecting against both is vital because short wavelength light — UVB — damages the outer layers of the skin (epidermis) and long wavelength light — UVA — damages deeper layers of the skin (dermes).

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NEW NEWS! Sunscreen pills! The supplement Polypodium leucotomos, an extract from a Central American Fern plant has been shown in several studies, including studies at Harvard Medical School, to have substantial benefits of skin protection when taken in doses of 7.5mg/kg of body weight (525 mg for a 154-pound person). In fact, Sloan Kettering Cancer Center proposed that this fern extract may inhibit free radical damage, protect skin cell damage and death, have anti-inflammatory properties to prevent cancer and wrinkling, and preserve skin cell immune function. Fern extract supplements must be used IN ADDITION TO, and not instead of, sunscreen. BASICS • Apply broad spectrum UVA & UVB sunscreen SPF 30 every single day • Stay out of the direct sun from 12-3PM • Avoid sun tanning and tanning booths • Wear a broad brimmed hat and SPF clothing • Wear UV-blocking sunglasses: Melanoma of the retina as well as eye damage can occur without eye protection • Examine your skin monthly

MYTHS 1 I only need to apply sunscreen on sunny days. Sunscreen must be worn every day, especially on cloudy days as radiation scattered by clouds can result in higher skin damage than on completely sunny days. 2 All sunscreens are alike. There are many sunscreen ingredients like oxybenzone,  octocrylene, octinoxate, and homosalate which screen some of the harmful rays, but these ingredients do not block the skin damaging rays causing premature aging and wrinkling. Choose products with titanium dioxide and /or zinc oxide for ingredients that block the sun’s destructive rays. 3 Drinkable electromagnetic wave sunscreens are effective. Dr. Henry W. Lim, Chairman of Dermatology at Henry Ford Hospital, states that there is no research on these products and that they do not make scientific sense.

Enjoy the sun and protect your skin head to toe, because you are so worth it!

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STORY AND PHOTOS SARAH COTTRELL

LSU AgCenter Henry Harrison 985.839.7855

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Early one Thursday morning with a spring storm threatening, I made my way to Franklinton to meet with Louisiana State University Agriculture Center’s County Agent, Henry Harrison. In an attempt not to get caught in the rain, we quickly made our way north of Franklinton turning off the main road onto a lane and then onto a field. I think had I known I was going to be driving onto a field, I would have chosen to drive my husband’s truck! We stopped next to a row of bee hives, and my lesson began. The bees are there to help promote the pollination of the plants ̶ having the hives at the side of the field aids the pollination that occurs naturally. Henry introduced me to 80 year (young) farmer T.C. Arthur who, along with his son Thomas, farms the 11 acres we are standing on. Of the 125 families that grow watermelons in Washington Parish, over half can be considered commercial farmers as they are growing over 10 acres. While the average age of farmers in the area is 60, it is not uncommon to find multigenerational families farming the land. T.C. is proud of his son’s involvement. Together, they raise many different crops on the land, but on this day I have come to learn about Washington Parish watermelons and what makes them a summer favorite.

As I followed Henry and T.C. into the fields, I could instantly see the comradery between the men. They were deep in conversation about the amount of rain that we had recently and how that was going to impact the crops. They walked past the recently planted crops to the more mature ones where you could see the young watermelons growing. These mature plants were planted in greenhouses as seeds on February 20th. T.C. informs me that after 4 to 6 weeks they were transplanted into the fields where they will be ready for harvest in late May/ early June. Peak watermelon season coincides with the nation’s birthday on the 4th of July and the season lasts until September. T.C. and his son will plant 8,000 plants by hand, each yielding one or two good (large) watermelons that will also be harvested by hand. Washington Parish has a rich tradition of producing and marketing these cucurbit crops which have been grown by farmers and gardeners alike for over a century. I asked what makes the watermelons from here so sought after, and I was told that it all boils down to the sandy acidic soil found in this part of Louisiana. That’s what creates the deliciously sweet watermelons. According to the LSU AgCenter, Washington Parish is the leading watermelon producing parish in


the state in terms of acres planted: 800-1,000 by 125 families. Each acre is capable of producing anywhere from 800-1,000 thirty pound watermelons and that quantity could almost double with irrigation. As you can tell, for a vegetable/fruit crop, watermelon production is a substantial contributor to the Washington Parish economy. Over a million dollars are added to the economy each year. For the past fifteen plus years, Washington Parish watermelon producers have attempted to identify the melons grown in their parish with a specially designed sticker that is placed on the watermelons. This sticker signifies that is was grown in Washington Parish by a local grower. The LSU AgCenter is an integral part of maintaining the integrity of the sticker system by distributing them through the extension service office. Henry believes that Washington Parish will always be a leader in the production and marketing of watermelons in the state of Louisiana because of the dedicated farmers and the value they place on the familial tradition of growing them. That is good news for all of us! As the first rain drops start falling, we hurry back to our vehicles with a quick goodbye. T.C. invites me to come back and visit when the watermelons are ripe and says he will give me one. I told him I would take him up on the offer. As we go to press, I have started to see watermelon stands pop up along the roadsides. It won’t be long before I make another tip to Franklinton to eat my first watermelon of the season - it truly is one of nature’s summer gifts.

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LETTER FROM THE MAYOR

RECIPE

STRAWBERRY WATERMELON COCKTAIL ENJOY SUMMER IN A GLASS Nothing screams summer like strawberries and watermelon. Mix the two together, and you have summer in a glass. Spike this strawberry watermelon cocktail with rum or enjoy it virgin with the kids. INGREDIENTS • 2 cups watermelon, roughly chopped • 1/2 cup strawberries, diced • 1 cup coconut water • 1 tablespoon agave nectar • Juice from 1 lime • 1 cup ice • 2 to 4 shots of white rum DIRECTIONS • In a blender combine watermelon, strawberries, coconut water, agave nectar and lime juice and pulse until smooth. • Add one cup of ice to the blender and pulse until the ice is crushed. • Divide between four glasses. You can optionally add one shot of rum or vodka to each glass. •Serve immediately with a straw and garnish with strawberry slices or citrus wedges. Makes 4 servings Recipe Courtesy of Kris Mullen

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The heat is on! Summer is officially here. The City of Bogalusa has lots of activities going on this summer: Farmer’s Market, every Saturday 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. at Goodyear Park. Open Road Cruisers is every 2nd Thursday, 5-9 p.m., Zesto’s Drive In, 100 Richmond Drive. Share the Rock Basketball Camp, June 5-9 from 8 a.m. - Noon, Bogalusa High School Gym (contact Derek Dantin at 985.516.2314). Fifteen Annual Legends All-Pro Football Camp (ex professional football players train children for FREE), June 15 from 9 a.m. - 2 p.m., Lewis V. Murray Jr. Stadium, contact Bruce Plummer at 404.606.2359. Camp Believe (teachers from across the country teach theater, acting and singing), June 19-23, Bogalusa High School Auditorium (contact Bruce Sampson at 951.371.5239, believecamp.com). Challenger Sports Soccer Camp (taught by the staff of professional British soccer players), June 26-29, Avenue B Sports Complex, contact Landon Tims at 985.516.3870, challengersports.com 4th of July: Parade at 10 am and Fireworks Display at 8:30 p.m. at the High School Stadium. Elizabeth Sullivan United Methodist Church Youth Camp & Block Party, July 17-21, contact the Church Office at 985.732.2568. And don’t forget, swim lessons and much more at the YMCA! WENDY O’QUIN PERRETTE City of Bogalusa Mayor


STORY CAITLIN PICOU PHOTOS YEHLEEN PHOTOGRAPHY

A typical Louisiana summer day includes a high of 98° with a 100% chance of makeup melting. Luckily, us makeup artists have a few tricks to combat the heat.

MAKEUP CAITLIN PICOU HAIR JORDAN SCHROEDER MODEL & JEWELRY CALLIE FULMAR

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THIS FOR THAT Let’s talk trades. A few items in your cosmetic bag need to be switched out for more sun-friendly products.

POWDER BLUSH cakes up in heat

FULL COVERAGE FOUNDATION thicker coverage will show more sweat spots

for

CREAM OR LIQUID BLUSH applies and stays smooth

for

BB CREAM WITH SUNSCREEN more natural coverage

DARK LIPSTICK dark lips are for winter

for

BRIGHT LIPS OR LIP GLOSS light and bright goes better with a sun kissed glow

RETINOL very sun sensitive

for

VITAMIN C skincare & sun protection in-one

ADD No way around it, there are just some beauty products that are a must during these hotter months.

DITCH Say goodbye to these products all summer long.

SPF obvious reasons PRIMER for a smoother application SETTING SPRAY/POWDER help prevent the dreaded ‘melting’

MOISTURIZERS WITH OILS adds to the grease HEAVY EYEBROWS no one wants to see smudges on their forehead

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MEAL PREP MADE EASY! FRESH, CONVENIENT & HEALTHY

BuyCoreMeals.com

Pick up available for Slidell, Mandeville, Covington, Hammond, Kenner, Metairie, and Lakeview


everyone needs love STORY SARADA BONNETT

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I

f you ask almost any St. Tammany resident if we have a child-homelessness problem in our parish, you would most assuredly get “no” for an answer — along with a crinkled brow for asking such an insane question. Each person you ask would be quite confident in his or her response. They would all be wrong. By conservative estimates, there are more than 700 youth in our region who are either in foster care, are “couch surfing” from house to house, or are outright homeless. Though they live in perhaps the most prosperous parish in the state, these young people are struggling just to survive. The good news is there are a few organizations filled with dedicated individuals determined to provide the help these kids need. The bad news is they need help themselves to keep up with the demand for their services. So who are these organizations and what do they do? To answer that is to discover what it means to truly help a child in need. Once you dig into it, the magnitude and the complexity of the problem can be overwhelming, especially if you approach it from an emotional perspective. At first, it seems simple. What are the immediate needs? Clothes, bedding, food — those are all items that can be purchased at a store. So we just need to give away a lot of gift cards, right? Well, that’s a start. But the complexity of the problem reveals itself when you look beyond those immediate needs and consider the children within. How does it affect a child emotionally to be removed from the only place he or she has ever known? As outsiders looking in, it might seem obvious to us that their environment is not conducive to their emotional or intellectual development. Or maybe we recognize that it is unhealthy

for their physical development. Or maybe, God forbid, we see that it is actually dangerous, posing a threat to their very survival. Even though we might see all of these things, the child might not. That environment, however bad, is what they call home. To remove them from it is to remove them from every familiar thing they’ve ever known. When this last resort becomes necessary and a child must be removed from their home, it is usually done through a combined effort of relatives, law enforcement, and the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services — the state agency charged with the well-being of the child. DCFS is filled with many loving and caring employees who do their best to keep children safe. I have had the honor of working with several of their caseworkers; they are amazing people who are doing yeoman’s work keeping up with the demands of the job. It has been proven that, when placing a child outside of their original home, the best option is to place the child with another family member. Sometimes a family member is willing to take the child in, but is unable to afford the added expense of another mouth to feed or another bed in the household. This is where James Storehouse steps in, providing much needed items to keep these children in a loving, familiar place. James Storehouse was founded by Covington-native Kim Winston Bigler. Kim and her husband were living in California when they recognized the same problems with homeless youth there. The first James Storehouse was formed in California and became a powerful force for change. Once Kim saw that her vision was up and running, she could feel the pull of the south calling her home. I met Kim through her

mother, former state representative Diane Winston, who also spent her career advocating for children. What does James Storehouse do? The mission pretty well sums it up: From cribs to college, we support kids in foster care by providing resources that help to expedite safe placements for kids coming into the system and transition those who are aging out. They do this by serving the needs of foster parents or willing family members. Often, that need is met simply by providing a single bed in a household that couldn’t otherwise afford it. It is amazing to think that one bed can keep a child off the streets or out of an abusive environment — but that is the reality in which we live. To date, James Storehouse has provided over 400 beds to local families in need. Sometimes, placing a child with another family member is simply not an option. Then it becomes a matter of finding a foster family willing to take the child in. St. Tammany Parish is blessed with some remarkable families who have served this cause in way that might seem unimaginable to most. I asked Myya Swayzer of the Department of Children and Family Services what advice she would give to families who are considering becoming a foster family. “The best advice I can give someone who wishes to become a foster parent is that they need to have patience, understanding and the ability to adapt and adjust quickly. We are always in search of kind, caring individuals who want to open their homes and hearts to children in need and be that family, cheerleader, coach, etc. that the child is in need of at that time,” Swayzer said. DCFS is always looking for more amazing foster families — like Robbie and Doree Kelly. The Kellys have fostered ten children and adopted three. They are

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LETTER FROM THE MAYOR

truly remarkable people. Doree once told me the reason they foster is they hope to make a real, “forever” difference in the life of a child. Even if the child is only with them for a short period of time, he or she will always remember the feeling of being in a loving and nurturing home. They want to provide stability and normalcy if even for a moment in time. Research shows that it only takes one person, one statement, or one act of kindness to change the course of a child’s life. For people like the Kellys, I am eternally grateful. What if a child is not put into the foster care system but for whatever reason becomes homeless instead? Maybe the parent is abusive or is an addict and the child is too old to be put in the system. If they are still in high school, what options do they have other than couch surfing? When that well runs dry do they find themselves in a car, under a bridge, or in a tent? I’ve seen all three here in our parish! There is a program in the St. Tammany Parish Public School System called KIT (Kids in Transition) that has incredible people working very hard for these children. These professionals work day and night to provide academic resources and support through the federal McKinney–Vento Homeless Assistance Act, but they can’t do it alone. Homeless Outreach for Youth in St. Tammany (HOYST) is a non-profit started by Willie Paretti to help youth who are not in the foster care system. After Willie’s husband passed away, she quite frankly just wanted to be with him and would pray that the Lord would take her. That changed one day when she was in a major car accident. Looking at her car, no one believed that the person in it walked away. She should have died, but she continued to pray and eventually she heard a small still voice telling her she had bigger things to do. It was God saying “I have plans for you.” She had always been an advocate for children and this just cemented her resolve to do something bigger. HOYST was born. My husband and I thank God for the KIT program and the James Storehouse and HOYST organizations. We have seen first-hand how they work for children. A week before Thanksgiving we received a call that a teen would soon be homeless, and the KIT workers had exhausted all options. We talked about it and couldn’t imagine allowing anyone — much less a child — sleep under a bridge for Thanksgiving. We agreed as a family that we would take him in, and that we would take it one week at a time. That was six months ago. Now, he is a bigger blessing to us than we are to him and he will be part of our family forever. These groups are making a real difference in the lives of very deserving children in our community. If you want to help them by getting involved or donating, visit James Storehouse at jslouisiana.org or contact HOYST through the Northshore Community Foundation, northshorefoundation.org. For more information about KIT, contact the St. Tammany Parish School Board at stpsb.org/KIT. The Department of Children and Family Services may be reached at dcfs.la.gov.

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Greetings! On behalf of the City of Covington, I’d like to wish everyone a warm welcome as summer begins. Covington’s 2017 Spring Event Season did not disappoint, with events such as A Taste of Covington, Spring for Art, The Antiques and Uniques Festival, and Rockin’ the Rails. Covington’s festive summer begins in June when the Tour de Louisiane bike race returns to downtown Covington on June 11. This is an exciting event for both participants and onlookers. On Friday, June 30th we will host Sparks in the Park, a family-friendly July 4th celebration complete with fireworks at dusk. Please join us at Bogue Falaya Park beginning at 6:00 p.m. to celebrate! This is a great time of year to explore the outdoors in Covington by biking and walking the downtown area. Your outdoor adventures will be a little easier due to the completion of our street striping project. The City is always striving to provide projects which promote public safety and make Covington a walkable, bike-oriented community. I’d like to thank those who participated in the May 2nd Give NOLA-Northshore giving day. It’s touching to know we have a community that makes a difference in the lives of others through their generosity with donations and the gift of their time. In closing, I would like to wish all a safe and fun-filled summer. Remember to keep up to date by checking our website at covla. com and Facebook: The City of CovingtonCultural Arts and Events. MIKE COOPER City of Covington Mayor


LIFE AMONG ALLIGATORS One of the most frequent questions asked by kids visiting Kliebert’s Turtle and Alligator Farm is “Can I work here?” “T-Mike” Kliebert, proprietor of the popular Hammond attraction, smiles at that for he knows his message is getting across. His mission in life is educating people of all ages about Louisiana culture, history and wildlife. And in Louisiana, wildlife is central to our culture and history. “We like to educate people on conservation and why we do what we do,” Kliebert, 32, says. He’s in a terrific position to know, as he’s a fourth-generation gator man. His roots in the scaly, prehistoric beasts go back to his greatgrandfather “Jabo” Kliebert, who sought out timber from the marsh during the Great

Depression. He would boat into the swamp, fighting off momma gators defending their nests, while providing a living for his family at the same time. “At one time, they were talking about importing hippos from Africa to clean up some of the vegetation-clogged canals,” he related. Such a move would have made swamp living MUCH more interesting. “The move failed by one vote.” But life in the Louisiana marshes holds a fascination for him, inherited through his grandfather Harvey, who started the first Louisiana alligator farm in 1957. He also is credited for hatching gators in captivity, including 60-year-old Micah, who entertains visitors by gobbling down chicken quarters in


STORY LENNY GRAY PHOTOS JERRY COTTRELL

the pond behind the gift shop. Two seven-yearold female gators keep him company. Early Louisiana settlers quickly found the many uses for the American alligator, including its spicy, lean meat, its durable hide and its usefulness in disposing of animals such as nutria when they become pests. Gator meat, preserved gator heads and teeth, turtle shells and other souvenirs are all available at Kliebert’s. If you recognize T-Mike Kliebert, you may remember him from the first season of The History Channel’s popular series Swamp People. He recalls, “It was a pretty good experience and it brought people to the business, but it’s reality TV and that’s not reality. We want people to know us as we really are.”

Here at Kliebert’s, they do everything on site, from hatching the eggs to bringing the baby gators to their huge full growth, all for the entertainment and education of visitors from far and wide. “People come to Louisiana for a reason,” says T-Mike. For this purpose, his grandfather launched the alligator farm at 18 years old, hatching his first 300 eggs. Although the farm’s founder is retired now, his work was carried on by Mike Kliebert and now by T-Mike. For the uninitiated, “T-Mike” is a shortened version of “Petit” Mike, or Little Mike. T-Mike made his very first alligator hunt deep in the Louisiana swamp at about three or four years old, staying back while the gators were caught and dragged on board. Now, his


son Blaize, 8, and daughter Charlee, 3, already show the same fascination which fuels his family. Kliebert’s offers tours for large and small groups, seven days a week, starting around noon and wrapping up at dark. T-Mike also makes school presentations and appearances at fairs and festivals. Walk-in visitors are also welcome and the gift shop, transformed from a long, low shed, offers everything from Cajun seasonings and jewelry to gator teeth and a mini-museum of gator lore. “Most kids nowadays are scared of everything,” he observed, as he playfully slapped Micah on the snout for a photo, well aware the 1,200-pound monster could easily overcome him. Big and powerful they are, but tame they definitely are not. Signs advertising this Hammond area attraction are visible all over the region. Kliebert’s also maintains a website and a Facebook page, bringing the nearly-centuryold attraction into the modern age. “It’s a legend my family wants to keep going for generations to come.” T-Mike especially enjoys bringing baby alligators to schools, knowing the legend of his alligator farm will endure. “People think it’s extraordinary.” See for yourself. He should know. He’s the alligator man.

KLIEBERT’S TURTLE AND ALLIGATOR TOURS 41083 West Yellow Water Road, Hammond 800.854.9164 / 985.345.3616

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ROB’S TRAILER "For Work and Play Rob's Trailer Sales Leads the Way"

• We install all B&W Hitches and all Truck Accessories • We sell Horse, Stock,Cargo,Equipment, Utility, Dump and Deck Over Trailers. • Hide-Away Balls on all Makes and Model Trucks • Truck Accessories and Add Ons • All Trailer Parts in Stock • Free Estimates • Tri-State Rodeo Trailer Sponsor

Rob's Trailer Sales 21391 Hwy 25 Franklinton 985 839 7272


STORY KIM BERGERON PHOTOS YEHLEEN PHOTOGRAPHY

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T

attooing. It’s an art form that originated in Neolithic times, with archeological evidence documenting such in findings recovered from numerous sites spanning the globe. The medium is used to commemorate milestones in life, military service, celebrity crushes and real-life relationships, nature, culture, and, of course, moms, immortalized in ornate type sprawling across big red hearts. More recently, it’s the focus of a plethora of reality television shows celebrating the good, the bad, and the downright ugly in need of emergency repairs. Then there’s “Blindspot,” the NBC drama built on the premise of an amnesiac Jane Doe, covered head to toe in a myriad of tattoos and abandoned, naked, in the middle of New York’s Times Square. Each of her tattoos holds clues that are part of a bigger picture, a mystery being explored and slowly unraveled, week after week. Though the show is currently in its second season, producers have indicated that the story line theoretically could span ten seasons. And the decoding continues. A desire to gain a bit of insight into the art of tattoos and those who love them led to conversations with Raina Twiggs, a hairdresser based in Mandeville, and Turning Point Tattoos artist Eric Fox. Raina’s infatuation with ink was sparked at a young age, though her parents did not support her impassioned pleas for a tattoo of her very own. After years of her relentless persuasion, her father finally conceded. He sketched a small periwinkle and gave her permission to get it inked for her 16th birthday. “He took me to a tattoo artist, and I got a little, purple periwinkle on my ankle,” she said. “Then I hid it from my mother for the next two years, until I turned 18.” That little flower marked the beginning of Raina’s foray into to the ink world in the late 1980s and early 1990s. She soon added another, this time a band’s logo, a joint-inking experience she shared with several other friends while visiting Miami. “It was a really tribal style, which is something I wouldn’t necessarily have chosen

for myself. But this was a bonding ritual, one of many that have created a timeline of my life. Each tattoo brings back fond memories of the circumstances that inspired it.” Raina says she has always been fascinated with art, and the evolution of styles through the years. When people ask if she regrets any of her choices, she is quick to respond that she does not, because each one captured who she was at the time. When her son, Dylan, was 20, she took him to get his first tattoo, after his years of pleading — evidently the tradition is a rite of passage. He has since joined his best friend to get “flash tattoos,” quick $13 specials on Friday the 13th, selected from an existing library of small drawings. By contrast, Raina’s daughter, Caroline, has no tattoos and no desire for such. In the same way that styles have changed, so, too, has society’s views of tattoos. Raina said that although she works in a high end salon, clients are very accepting, with many asking the significance of and meaning behind the works. She mentioned that about ten years prior, when she was about to meet her then-boyfriend’s mother for the first time, he suggested that she consider covering up her tattoos. In order to appease him, she wore a long sleeved blouse, though the tattoos could still be seen through the sheer fabric. Years later, after the couple had long since parted ways, Raina ran into her former beau’s mother and recalled the incident. The mom called the request to cover up silly, stating she didn’t know why her son had been concerned. “Since then, I’ve never really been put in a position that required that I cover them up,” said Raina. “Even when I attend conservative events, I just show up as I am. And people are accepting.” She likens her myriad of tattoos to a portable gallery. “I just think of it as surrounding myself with beautiful artwork, just the same way that you do in your home. But with tattoos, you bring your artwork with you everywhere you go — even to your grave,” she chuckled. Among those who have contributed to her gallery is tattoo artist Eric Fox. The artist

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developed an interest in ink while in his early teens. When he was in high school, he would hang out with some of his musician friends who also worked in tattoo shops. Before long, he began sketching his own designs, and after high school graduation, he went into the graphic design program at Delgado. When Hurricane Katrina was approaching, Eric evacuated to Texas, stopping in tattoo shops along the way. It was then that he realized he had a knack for tats and that he wanted to make a career of it. He worked as a tattoo artist in Slidell, Hammond and Kenner before setting up shop in Mandeville. Among his favorite works are those with intricate designs. “It doesn’t matter if they’re color or black and grey,” he said. “I most enjoy doing sleeves and back pieces. The subject doesn’t matter, so long as there is a lot of shading and detail involved. That’s my forte.” The artist and his three coworkers also have taken on quite a few “fixer uppers” and “cover ups.”

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For aspiring tattoo artists, Eric offers this bit of advice: a strong portfolio goes a long way — not just featuring tattoos but also demonstrating knowledge of tattoo designs that look right on paper before being recreated on human skin. “There’s a whole lot of science involved,” he said. “What makes a tattoo artist good is knowing the placement and evaluating if the work is too big or too small. If it’s too small, the ink may spread over time if compressed. If it’s too big, the finished work won’t look its best. Good artists make appropriate color choices to complement the individual’s skin tone. And they anticipate if the tattoo will hold and what it will look like after 10 years. There’s so much more involved than most people realize.” It’s likely that the tattoo artworks being created today will become the archeological finds of future generations. Oh, the many stories they will tell.


LETTER FROM THE MAYOR

The City of Mandeville has several fun events planned for the summer. On May 26, June 23 and July 28, “Movie Night” at the Trailhead will feature animated films for children and adults. The films will begin at 8:00 p.m. and concessions will be available for purchase. Our Public Works Department will host its 14th annual Water Works Camp for students entering grades 4-7. Sessions are June 5-9 and June 12-16. Campers learn to have a greater appreciation for our natural resources, including local water bodies and wildlife.  Participants enjoy field trips and awesome hands-on science activities, listening to environmental guest speakers and investigating local nature exhibits. Field trips include fishing, crabbing, a wildlife refuge visit, stream hike, a visit to the Marine Mammal Research Institute in Gulfport and a visit to the Coastal Education Research Facility or Bayou Savage depending on the week of camp.  All counselors are certified teachers and transportation is provided by St. Tammany School Bus. For more information or a registration form, please call 985.624.3169 Monday through Wednesday from 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. The City will hold its annual Fourth of July Celebration on Saturday, July 1 at 4:30 p.m., featuring Supercharger. Fireworks will begin at dusk and food and drink will be allowed on the lakefront for this event. Finally, please remember to buckle up and drive safely; school is out.  Congratulations to all graduates and have a great summer! DONALD VILLERE City of Mandeville Mayor


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STORY PATTY BEAL

What’s the recipe for a successful fashion blogger? A sense of style, some swagger, an entrepreneurial mindset, confidence, determination, and a great photographer. Combine all ingredients and voila — Jennifer Palpallatoc of Haute off the Rack, another Northshore resident making it big in the fashion industry. With over 155,000 global Instagram and fashion blog followers, Jenn has turned her style into a brand and a powerful business. EDGE took to the streets with Jenn and her team to discuss her journey to success. PATTY BEAL: Jenn, thanks for letting us tag along on your shoot. Let’s start by explaining to those that may not understand; what is a fashion blogger? JENN PALPALLATOC: Sure. There are fashion blogger hobbyists, and there are career, income earning, fashion bloggers. This is definitely a career for me. A blogger is a stylist, photo editor, writer, director, public relations specialist, social media tech, model, and, for me, hair and makeup artist, who posts pictures of themselves wearing self-styled ensembles on their own “followed” blog and social media outlets. Professional bloggers earn fees and commissions from national and/ or international brands they choose to work with. PB: Jenn, how did all of this start? Obviously you must have had a strong interest in fashion. JP: Yes, I’ve always loved styling, putting outfits together, so I knew I wanted to work in the fashion industry. PB: So were you majoring in fashion merchandising at LSU? JP: Well, not at first, but it was ONE of my many majors. I changed my major 5 times in 4 years, but all of my majors had a career in the fashion industry as the goal. But at one point I wanted to build a portfolio of examples of my styling work to help me get a job. I figured a blog was a great platform, so I wrote about trend forecasting, tips and tricks, style boards. PB: So it started out as a personal tool but took on a life of its own? JP: Yes, I started to get followers very fast. Soon I started getting inquiries from companies that saw my blog asking me to work in the industry. PB: That’s great! Like who? JP: A local Baton Rouge magazine found me via my Haute Off the Rack

blog and asked me to interview for their Fashion Editor position. I did, and was hired! Then a local television station asked me if I’d do a fashion segment on the news. And I did that too. PB: Impressive. And they found you? You weren’t even hunting down these opportunities? JP: Right. I felt I was getting more career momentum and opportunities through the blog than through school. I made the difficult decision to quit college, with 4 years in, and build myself as a brand and a business. I needed more time to do that. PB: Tell us about your first blog. JP: It was 2012. I wanted my blog to look very well done, so I hired a professional photographer, which is key, by the way! I started with clothes from my own closet and was able to use some from a clothing boutique where I worked. I’d do my own hair and makeup and we’d go out and take several pictures. I’d write about the outfit and post it on my Haute Off the Rack blog. If I happened to purchase something new, I’d definitely work with that and I’d tag the brand, tweet, send, and share with that particular company. Whether it was jeans, shoes, handbags, or jewelry, I made sure they knew I was blogging about their product. Within 6 months, national brands started sending me (gifting me) items to wear in my posts. PB: Let’s discuss the economic side of blogging. To be clear, this is a successful, income earning career for you — with lots of work put into it almost every day. When did it turn from a personal tool to a money maker? JP: As the blog was gaining more followers, I was contacted by a new company asking if I’d be interested in receiving an income from what I do. They provide a service that connects

national fashion brands to bloggers and sets up the e-commerce link platform allowing someone to purchase anything in the post with a simple click. On every one of my posts you’ll see a link to LIKEtoKNOW.it and it’ll take you to a shopping page that has each item pictured with its commission bearing link. You can now just download the app and shop via a screen shot. PB: Almost like an agent for you? So, you’re gifted some great products, earn commission, and love what you’re doing? JP: Yes. And I charge a flat fee. I mainly work with national brands as the product has to be purchasable online. I can generate statistics to show a brand how much e-commerce and engagement is generated through my blog and Insta posts and other social platforms. I’m able to show a new label how it is possible for them to get a return on their investment. PB: No doubt this is a serious business!! Do you have an assistant? JP: I’ve been doing this full time for three years. Besides my photographers, it just me and an intern. And yes, it’s a huge and growing industry. Retailers are taking note. The way people shop is changing! Instagram posts alone drove $3.4 million in annual sales via fashion bloggers. PB: What if you don’t like something that is offered to you? Would you still use it? JP: Absolutely not. I will never promote something that I wouldn’t wear or use myself. I turn down quite a bit of business because I won’t compromise the image and style that I’ve built as a brand. My followers would absolutely know if I wore something that wasn’t my style. I’ll only support it if I love it. PB: Your photos are really great. Are they directed by your photographer? JP: I work with two of the best EDGE June | July 2017

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Photo Yehleen Photography

HAUTE OFF THE RACK hauteofftherack.com Instagram @hauteofftherack

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photographers, Lainey Reed and Michelle Preau. I’ve worked with them for a long time. We are able to communicate really well and they understand the vision I have for the shot. I talk it out, explain what I’m thinking, and they get it. Thankfully! We shoot 2 or 3 times a week. I work all the other aspects of the job another 3-4 days a week. PB: On the shoot we just followed you on, you were promoting Degree deodorant. JP: Yep. They are a sponsor. I use Degree, so I’ll definitely support them. I’ve worked with several non-fashion related products. But again, only if I use it and love it and feel my audience will too. For example, a non-clothing product like Degree will contract with me for brand awareness. When you’re standing in the aisle choosing a deodorant, you just might pick Degree as you recall my boomerang post on Instagram. PB: And what about that good looking purse? JP: Oh, I actually collaborated with Gigi New York and designed this bag! I was touring their factory in New York and saw the prototype. I mentioned some changes I’d make to the bag that would improve its function and style. They actually made the changes and it sold really well. Next thing you know they had me design a couple myself. The first was the Jenn Bucket Bag. This one is called it the Jenni Saddle Bag. I’m really proud of it. You’ll see it in my posts! PB: You’ve just recently returned from two business trips. One in La Paz, Mexico and one at a resort in St. Lucia! Can you give us the inside scoop on that! JP: Sure. There are people in the public relations department of resorts and travel destinations that

follow bloggers. They contacted me and offered us a trip to their resort to use as a backdrop for our photo shoots. You’ll notice many of my recent posts are from Playa De La Paz, Mexico and from the over-the-water bungalows at the Sandals Grande St. Lucian on St Lucia. One of my followers commented she just booked her honeymoon at the resort from seeing the gorgeous pictures on my Instagram posts. So it definitely works! I’m traveling about twice a month now. PB: These businesses see you as a viable influencer! You mentioned “us” earlier. I assume you mean you and your photographer travel together? JP: And yes, I travel with one of my two photographers. We are a package deal. PB: What is your global reach? JP: In addition to the U.S., I have a large group of followers from Canada, Mexico, and Great Britain. PB: Where do you see your business going in the next 5 years? JP: I’m sure it will continue to grow and follow me through future life events — like marriage, buying a house, starting a family. Weddings are a great blog subject, and so are home décor and baby things. PB: Do you have any words of wisdom for newbies entering the world of blogging? JP: Sure. Finish school first! Also, blogging takes up a lot of time, so time management is very important. I struggled with that. And know your audience — know what they respond to, and stay organic and true to who you are. PB: It’s been an honor meeting you and we appreciate you taking the time to give us the inside story of a successful international fashion blogger. You make the Northshore proud to call you one of our own.


STORY AND PHOTOS JOHN N. FELSHER

One hot June afternoon, we struggled to find fish in a sweltering backwater off of the West Pearl River — until we noticed some activity up ahead. A sight any fly fisherman longs to see: millions of mayflies covering bushes along a cypress–lined stretch of shoreline about 10 yards long. As if a million piranhas attacked a bleeding capybara, water appeared to boil in the bayou below the bushes with fish annihilating anything that touched the water. My fishing partner and I immediately whipped out our fly rods and dropped cork poppers into the ruckus. Unfortunately, a roaring wind made stopping to fish the honey hole impossible without an anchor or trolling motor. In addition, the ancient 12–foot aluminum boat leaked so badly that we had to bail it with a gallon milk jug about every 30 minutes just to stay afloat. Fortunately, the wind blew parallel to the bank where we wanted to fish. We formulated a plan. I cranked up the equally ancient 6–horsepower outboard and headed upwind while my buddy bailed the boat. We stopped far enough upwind so that we could get our gear ready for a quick drift, and by quick, I mean the brutal wind hurtled us past the bushes nearly as fast as the old motor could push us! As we shot past the strike zone, we each furiously made a cast or two, hoping we didn’t snag on anything. When the bug hit the honey hole, a big bluegill or other fish instantly blasted it. When the bug missed the sweet spot, nothing happened. About the time we went past the honey hole, the boat needed bailing again. We bailed the boat dry, or at least as dry as we

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could for something that resembled a noodle strainer, and hoped the engine would crank. Fortunately, it did. We ran the outboard up past the bug-laden bushes for another drift, repeating this effort many times that afternoon until we grew tired of catching fish — and bailing. Also called willow flies, mayflies spend most of their lives underwater as nymphs. As the water warms, they sprout wings and emerge from the water to mate and die. Mayflies belong to the insect order Ephemeroptera, which means “lasting only a day.” Mayflies “hatch” periodically from late April to about October, with the peak season in June. During a mayfly hatch — really just the bug changing from a water nymph into a winged adult — these harmless insects swarm in the millions. After bursting from the water, adult mayflies somewhat resemble giant mosquitoes. They cling to branches to dry their new wings before mating. During a hatch, swarming flies might completely cover some low bushes. Inevitably, some flies fall into the water, kicking off a fish feeding frenzy. Lucky anglers who stumble upon a mayfly hatch could find incredible action. When flies hit the water, everything underneath comes up quickly to grab its share of the bounty. Bluegills and other bream feed upon the insects. Bass also eat the bugs, but larger bass would more likely grab an overstuffed bluegill distracted by the swarming flies. Near a good hatch, anglers can catch fish after fish with anything they throw into the water. During a hatch, bluegills turn very aggressive and might smash anything floating on the


surface before their cousins can grab it. This produces some incredibly exciting strikes. Pound for pound, or more appropriately ounce for ounce, nothing on a line can outfight an enraged bull bluegill, particularly on light fly tackle. For the most fun, use fly fishing tackle. Flies that resemble the floating insects might work best, but during a feeding frenzy at a bug hatch, lure color or selection doesn’t matter as much as placement. Toss a temptation as close to the fly–laden bushes as possible without snagging. If it lands in the right spot, something will probably hit it. If the frenzy dies down, shake the bushes to make more flies fall into the water and reignite the activity. Even when not fishing a bug hatch, I love casting floating poppers for bluegills and other fish such as bream, perch and sunfish — lumped together collectively as panfish. Often called “popping bugs,” floating poppers are imitation insects made of cork or wood adorned with feathers and rubber “legs.” They come in many color combinations and make deadly topwater temptations. Foam or plastic temptations

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resembling crickets, grasshoppers or other creatures also work. Among the most abundant freshwater fish, bluegills and other bream species eat almost anything they can fit into their tiny mouths, including minnows, worms, grubs, bread, crustaceans and table scraps, but they particularly relish insects. When feeding near the surface, their little mouths make distinctive snapping noises. Quite audible from considerable distances, these snaps allow anglers to zero in on feeding panfish. When not gobbling mayflies, bluegills typically hang around shorelines, fallen trees, docks, cypress knees, stumps, lily pads, weed beds or similar cover. Cast a popper as close to cover as possible. Let it rest on the surface a few moments until the ripples fade. Then give it a small twitch or pop before pausing again for several seconds. Sometimes fish want dynamic action. Sometimes fish prefer subtlety. Non-aggressive fish often hit popping bugs sitting still on the surface. Frequently, just a slow, steady pull across the surface attracts attention. From late spring through early fall, bluegills and other bream make nests in shallow flats. Anglers frequently spot these dark depressions on the bottom in shallow water. When on these beds, bream defend their nests vigorously and might attempt to obliterate a popper. At other times, bluegills might gently taste the enticement before committing itself to strike. Frequently, they simply suck down a bug. All of

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a sudden, a bug vanishes with hardly a ripple breaking the surface. Gregarious little creatures, hundreds of fat bluegills might inhabit a good bedding area or cover spot. If an angler misses the first strike, that fish or one of its brethren might strike the bug again. Keep casting in the same area as long as fish keep biting. If strikes cease, change bug colors or give the area a rest and return a few hours later. Bluegills frequently feed all day and seldom move far from their beds or protected lairs. Fly-casters don’t need fancy equipment to catch bluegills. A 7.5–to 9–foot long ultralight or light action fly rod works great. Floating fly line coupled with a 7–to 10–foot length of 6- to 10–pound–test monofilament line completes the package. Tie on a floating popper and start catching fish. Hot colors for poppers include black, blue, white, green, yellow or a black and yellow “bumblebee” combination. One never knows exactly when or where a mayfly hatch might erupt during any warm day. Look for flies swarming in areas with slack water out of the current near bushes or small trees growing next to the water. The placid secondary streams and backwaters of the Pear River system, Bayou Lacombe, the Tchefuncte River and other waters make great places to find excellent bream action. No matter how or where you catch them, a pan of golden fried bluegills cooked in Cajun spices makes a delicious meal for any Louisiana fish lover.


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Photo courtesy of Anna LeDonne

My turn: by CHEF Gavin Jobe and Vinnie LeDonne

ABOUT CHEF GAVIN JOBE AND VINNIE LEDONNE Vinnie LeDonne and Chef Gavin Jobe are the owners of Meribo in downtown Covington. They both climbed the ranks in fine-dining establishments where Vinnie specialized in service training and bar management, while Gavin concentrated on his passions of food and wine. The duo focuses on modern Italian classics with a southern twist at Meribo.     


BOURRÉ RESTAURANT 22 Street Ann Drive Mandeville, LA 70471 bourrerestaurant.com 985.778.2601

We’ve been to Bourré a number of times for brunch and dinner and have enjoyed our experience there each time. On this occasion, we bring a group for a late lunch. When guests come into Meribo, we tell them to order family-style and share amongst the table — we order that same way here. We started with chargrilled oysters, gumbo and Cajun crab cakes. The oysters here are classic, chargrilled and smothered in butter — they are delicious. “Val’s Gumbo” is named for a regular that’s sitting nearby and it’s topped with three crispy fried oysters — another winner.  The Cajun crab cakes are pan fried to perfection served over a creamy corn maque choux and covered with a spicy Cajun sauce. Our table is happy.  Unbeknownst to us, it’s Happy Hour here at Bourré! The times apparently vary day-to-day and our server tells us that they even have $6 burgers on Wednesdays. Because it’s Happy Hour, we decide to order everything on the Tapas menu at the bar. This includes the crab cakes, tomato basil bruschetta, goat cheese truffles, fried boudin balls and margherita flatbread. We also add the baked brie and the chicken and waffles from the regular menu. This is more than enough for our group of five, but like I said, we enjoy ordering this way. Our group enjoys the entire tapas menu, but our favorite dish of the night is the chicken and waffles. We order a few more rounds of specialty cocktails and glasses of wine and sufficiently overstay our welcome — leaving happy and well-fed.


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The Professional Woman of St Tammany hosted their 2017 Phenomenal Woman Retreat at the Southern Hotel in downtown Covington, the theme of this year’s retreat was ‘Find Your Bliss”. The day was filled with empowering breakout sessions and inspirational speakers, including keynote speaker Tracee Dundas, founder and producer of the New Orleans Fashion Week. After a lunch catered by Ox Lot 9, celebrity designer and Louisianan native, Pedram Pasha Taheri of Pedram Couture delighted the crowd with an haute couture fashion show. Monies raised form the event goes to fund scholarships that are awarded each year by the Professional Woman of St Tammany.

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he natural majesty and beauty of the United States is represented by many wonders. Perhaps one of the biggest, and certainly the tallest, is the redwood tree. A visit to see these natural giants and the beautiful California coast is high on many lifetime lists. Redwoods are the tallest living things on earth, reaching heights over 350 feet — as tall as a 35 story building — and widths over 20 feet. These trees are exclusive to the United States and grow only in the unique environment of the Pacific Northwest, primarily Northern California and Southwestern Oregon.


Redwood National Park consists of several noncontiguous areas of national park and several areas of California state parks. A fantastic array of activities abound in these areas, including scenic drives, hiking, camping, kayaking, and of course just looking up at the trees. Several of these areas are of particular interest. FROM NORTH TO SOUTH Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park is the most northern part of the Redwood Parks. It is farthest — about 2 hours — from the nearest large population center in Eureka. The Jed, as locals call it, contains some of the most scenic groves of redwoods in existence and one of the most scenic drives. The 10-mile one way drive on the unpaved Howland Hill Road offers trailheads along the way. The Boy Scout Tree Trail is a 4.5 mile out and back trail that leads deeply through the old growth giants to the pleasantly musical Fern Falls. The park also has a well kempt campground and the opportunity to sleep among the Redwoods is a truly magical experience. For movie buffs, the Endor scenes from the Return of the Jedi were filmed in this park. Heading south on Highway 101 — the Redwood Highway — leads you to Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park. This park is quite unique as it allows for access to redwood groves, open meadows, sandy beaches, and herds of Roosevelt elk. Just a short walk from the visitor center takes you to several uniquely shaped and voluminous redwoods. A scenic drive winds though the park ending at Gold Bluffs

Beach. This beach is a great place to walk among the driftwood, and in this case much of the driftwood is from redwood trees fallen into the ocean from high on the bluffs above the beach. There is a campground on the beach itself that offers the opportunity to pitch your tent among the sand dunes. A short hike from the beach leads to Fern Canyon. You will know you are there when the path narrows into a short canyon completely covered with the namesake ferns. Its unique natural beauty was used in the movie Jurassic Park. Once nearly extinct in the area, the Roosevelt elk now number in the hundreds. They are commonly seen wandering throughout the park and occasionally blocking the road. Continuing south on Hwy. 101, another good stop is Patrick’s Point State Park. This park offers a wonderful viewpoint for the spring and fall migration of Grey Whales. These giants of the water are up to 50 feet long and can weigh 45 tons. They migrate from Alaska to Baja, California and back every year. The whales stay close to shore to evade predators. With this proximity to the shoreline, the whales and their spouts of water are often easily observed from the park. Worth a small detour from the coast is a visit to the bohemian town of Arcata. A central town square and main street hold an interesting mix of late 1800’s Victorian buildings, coffee shops, and stores filled with healing crystals and tie dye apparel. To top off a trip to the redwoods and the northern California coast, several outfitters offer sea kayak trips in Trinidad Bay near Patrick’s Point State Park. Sea lions and seals are normally seen lounging on the sea stacks, and during the whale migration, especially April, May, and June, kayaking with the possibility of paddleling near a pod of Grey Whales would be a marvelous adventure.

STORY AND PHOTOS G. BRENT BROWN

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REDWOOD NATIONAL PARK nps.gov/redw/index.htm JEDEDIAH SMITH REDWOODS STATE PARK PRAIRIE CREEK REDWOODS STATE PARK PATRICK’S POINT STATE PARK parks.ca.gov

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1 “Soaring Beyond Imagination” was the theme of the Celebration Gala benefiting the Children’s Museum of St. Tammany hosted at the Castine Center. The crowd sampled food and beverages from local restaurants whilst the Bucktown All-Stars and Slidell High School Jazz Band entertained the crowd. 2 Chef Soirée drew more than 3,000 patrons to the Covington Trailhead to enjoy some of the best food and drink the Northshore has to offer. Entertainment included The Dominos and Groovy 7. The highlight of the evening was the raffle drawing for a 2017 Ford Mustang donated by Rick and Tina Flick of Banner Ford. Proceeds from the event help the Youth Service Bureau provide advocacy, counseling, education and intervention for at-risk youth and families in St. Tammany and Washington Parishes. (Photos by Tom Ballantine) 3 Saint Scholastica Academy hosted their annual Falaya Fling Fundraiser which was held on their beautiful campus. Patrons gathered in the center of campus to enjoy the pavilion decorated with vintage furnishings and pictures before entering the gymnasium, which was transformed into a lovely gala setting.

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4 A Taste of Covington is an annual 5-day food, wine, music and art event revolving around the St. Tammany Art Association’s “Spring for Art.” The event included Vintner Dinners at a selection of Covington restaurants, a Grand Tasting at Acquistapace’s, Festa del Vino hosted at the St Tammany Art House and a Champagne Brunch at Annadele’s Plantation. (Photos by Dan Cobb) 5 The Smokin’ Hammond BBQ Challenge saw more than 60 teams compete in the Backyard Boogie and the Lamar Outdoor Advertising Chicken Little Contest. This event is the largest BBQ event in the State of Louisiana. The BBQ Challenge also featured local bands from around the region playing music on the Northshore Broadcasting Stage. Funds raised were donated to local charities, including TARC, which serves those with disabilities. (Photos by Philip Colwart) 6 Mandeville High School’s FIRST Robotics team travelled to Houston to the World FIRST Robotic Championship. (FIRST: “For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology”). Competing against teams from around the world, their

alliance finished in second place. Congratulations Skippers! The team members proudly display their trophy along with EDGE of the Lake magazine. 7 The Precious Gems cheer team proudly show of their copy of EDGE of the Lake magazine. 8 East St. Tammany Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive Officer, Dawn Sharpe and Northshore Harbor Center General Manager, Kathy Lowrey enjoyed meeting the vendors and guests at the Chamber’s Business and Community Showcase. 9 The Marian Players delighted audiences at their sold out performances of Fiddler on the Roof. 10 St. Paul’s School senior Yehia Elkersh was selected as the 2017 Student of the Year by the Louisiana Department of Education. 11 Bogalusa native and Southeastern Louisiana University student Kelsey Provost assisted EDGE of the Lake’s Staff Photographer on a resent shoot at Kliebert’s. Take EDGE of the Lake magazine on your summer vacation, take a picture and send it to edgepublisher@yahoo.com.


Profile for EDGE of the Lake

EDGE of the Lake June | July 2017  

EDGE of the Lake gives a fresh edgy look at the parishes north of the lake and the unique mix of people that make up our community. Expect t...

EDGE of the Lake June | July 2017  

EDGE of the Lake gives a fresh edgy look at the parishes north of the lake and the unique mix of people that make up our community. Expect t...

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